Import, distribution and retail of gm-carnation ‘Moonshadow’

Advisory reports | 07.04.2009 | 090407-08

The present application by Florigene Ltd. of file C/NL/97/13, ‘Renewal application to import carnation variety FLORIGENE® MoonshadowTM’ concerns the renewal of the authorization for the genetically modified carnation variety ‘Moonshadow’. In 1998, this variety was authorized for production, import, distribution and retail in Europe. The current application concerns the renewal of the authorization for import, distribution and retail. The applicant does not wish to renew the authorization for cultivation.
In 1997, COGEM concluded that the risks for human health and the environment resulting from import of cut flowers of ‘Moonshadow’ are negligible. Since 1997 no new information has become available that changes the outcome of the previous risk assessment. No adverse effects concerning handling of ‘Moonshadow’ have been reported.

Carnation does not have weedy characteristics and although carnation is grown for centuries it has never been found in the wild. The genetically modified carnation variety ‘Moonshadow’ has a modified flower color and is tolerant to sulfonylurea herbicides. These traits do not introduce a potential for weediness.
Carnation is not able to fertilize wild relatives spontaneously and, therefore, the risk of transfer of the introduced traits to related species is negligible. Formation of seed on cut flowers is highly improbable.
In rare cases petals of carnation are used in dishes or as garnishing. Although ‘Moonshadow’ will not be authorized for use as food, COGEM cannot exclude the possibility that in rare cases small quantities of ‘Moonshadow’ petals are used in dishes. Results of toxicity tests indicate that ‘Moonshadow’ does not cause detrimental effects. COGEM has no reason to assume that inadvertent consumption of the genetically modified carnation poses a risk to human health.
 In view of the aforementioned, COGEM is of the opinion that the risks for the environment and human health resulting from import of cut flowers are negligible.

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